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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tuna Balls ~ A Meatless Recipe for Lent {Kids Love Them}

Tuna balls! 
I can't begin to tell you how much my kids and I like these! I started making these for Lent more than 8 years ago, and they are still well loved! My kids love the taste and I love the versatility! 
They are a great on-the-go meal! Easy to eat in the car or when we're out of the house. I can make a batch the night before a trip, put them in the fridge, and before we leave I put them into a cooler with a few other munchies, like carrots or crackers. It's an easy to eat meal that's ready to go! Plus they aren't too messy for kids to eat! 

Sometimes, when we are at home, my kids like to dip them in warm tomato sauce or cheese sauce. And I personally, love them in a salad! (see below)
They are also a fun, easy, healthy, snack for toddlers! When they are hungry just hand them a ball from the fridge! My one year old calls them "Happy Balls"! And they do make him happy!  ;-)

Tuna Ball Recipe:
  • 6 cans of tuna (drained and crumbled with a fork)
  • 3/4 cup ranch dressing or mayonnaise or sour cream  (we try all of them)
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I use Italian ~ I used crushed corn flakes, too)
  • 1 cup graded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
Mix all ingredients together. Make sure the large pieces of tuna are crushed and well mixed. 
Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on a greased jelly roll cooking sheet
~OR~
If you are in a hurry, you can press the mixture into a 13x9 inch greased pan,
or two 8x8 inch pans. (But the balls bake nicer and more evenly)

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes; until the cheese is bubbling and they are getting brown.
They will be a lightly crisped on the outside and softer in the middle.
The balls are better eaten warm but they are also very good cold.
This recipe will make about 100 balls (100 balls doesn't go very far for our family of 11! We often make two batches!)

Note: I've kept them in the fridge for over a week with no problem.

 Tuna Ball Salad (My Favorite)
Break up 4 to 5 tuna balls into chunks and add it to a plate of lettuce.  Drizzle the lettuce and tuna ball chunks with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Sometimes I add Swiss cheese pieces! YUM! 

I hope you like them as much as we do!
Have a blessed Lent!
~Jennifer

Oh, and don't forget to check-out our Lenten Link-up!
(It's at the bottom of the page)


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9 comments:

  1. The Happy Tuna Balls look like a perfect Lenten meal...thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I got to say, at first, Tuna Balls just didn't sound good, but looking at the picture, I've changed my mind. Looks quite tasty indeed!! I might be able to get at least 2 of my kids to eat them if not all 3.

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, Ladies! ♥♥♥
    And Jill, I should have mentioned: I'm not a fan of tuna in any other form. My Husband won't eat tuna unless it's a tuna ball! They don't have a lot of tuna taste. It does taste like tuna, but it's not strong.
    Good luck! I hope the kids like them! If not bring the leftovers to my house! My kids will make them disappear! ;-)
    God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will certainly keep that in mind :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. We make fried tuna patties, my kids always think they are chicken. I also grate zucchini, cheese, & carrots and add those for veggies. My big baby, 17 mo loves balls, he would think its fun eating a ball ;). Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the inspiration! I ended up using wheat germ and flax seed for about half of the bread crumbs. The idea of grating veggies to put in as well sounds very clever indeed. Yummy says my family!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Making these for dinner tonight!
    Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Quick Question: You say 6 cans of tuna. How many ounce cans? There are different sizes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, sorry, I forgot to add that bit of VERY important information.... It's the 5 oz cans.
      Hope you enjoy them! :-)

      Delete

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